Robert D. Mitchell

Product Information Manager

5-SERIES FOR 1994: 

Woodcliff  Lake, New Jersey...BMW's 5-Series is
internationally recognized as an ideal blend of performance,
driving pleasure, spacious practicality and sporty elegance.
For 1994, a wide- ranging development program has made this
blend better than ever. Most visibly, three new V-8 models
raise the 5-Series' already impressive level of smooth
performance: the 3-liter 530i Sedan and Touring (sports
wagon) and the 4-liter  540i Sedan.  But BMW has once again
enhanced the performance and value of the two 6-cylinder
models, the  525i Sedan and Touring, as well.  And across the
entire Series there are improvements that keep these midsize
BMWs fresh and appealing. 

As the value leader among the new 5-Series V-8s, the 530i
Sedan assumes a remarkable role. It can be seen as the
successor to the popular 535i, which  Automobile Magazine
called "the essence of everything BMW has been about since
the Sixties...a car any enthusiast could love, loaded with
character plus a kind of physicality that everybody
advertises and very few  achieve." Much of that "physicality"
was attributable to the 535i's  vigorous 3.5-liter
six-cylinder engine, which combined powerful thrust with
exemplary smoothness and thrilling sounds. But BMW isn't
named the  Bavarian Motor Works for nothing; an even better
engine has been developed for the midsize  BMW  sports sedan.
In the BMW tradition, the new  530i is  named for a 3.0-liter
engine: a brand-new  V-8 that, thanks to its four overhead
camshafts, four  valves per cylinder and a host of other new
engineering features, delivers more power and higher  fuel
efficiency than it's illustrious  3.5-liter  predecessor.
And being a  V-8, it does so with even greater  smoothness
and more exciting sounds than ever. 


In its basic construction, the 530i engine is essentially
identical to the 4.0-liter V-8 introduced last year in the
new  BMW 740i and 740iL; the primary differences are a
somewhat smaller bore and a considerably shorter stroke.  Its
weight-saving aluminum cylinder block is cast with
closed-deck construction  (webbing connecting the tops of the
cylinders) for a very rigid overall structure  that helps
prevent distortion during operation, minimizing wear. A  new
technology  further contributes to the V-8's light weight of
only  approximately 470 pounds including electricals and
cooling.  Instead of the steel cylinder  liners used by many
carmakers in aluminum blocks, long-wearing  cylinder walls
are created by depositing a "dispersion layer" of nickel on
the  aluminum via galvanic action.  Called Galnikal, this
process was used for some years in BMW motorcycle engines
before being introduced in the  V-8 engine, so it's not an
untried technology -- just an advanced one. 

Another fascinating feature is the V-8's sintered connecting
rods. Instead of the usual two separately forged pieces,
which require locating sleeves to bolt  together precisely,
this new type of rod is first forged as a single  piece.
Then, at a predetermined fracture line (think of tearing
paper along a perforation), the lower portion  (big end)  is
broken off.  The resulting rough surfaces at the break can go
back together only one way, so sleeves are not needed; thus
the rods are lighter and more consistent in weight.  In turn,
their lightness and weight consistency help make  the engine

Dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder are no
longer unusual, but even some prestigious engines with these
technologies lack the premium feature of  chain-driven
camshafts.  In the  BMW V-8 a large duplex (double-row) chain
drives the intake camshaft of each bank; small duplex chains
take the drive from the intake to the exhaust camshafts.  All
three chains are automatically tensioned and engineered to
last, so they require no periodic service as do the belt
drives of some competing models.  Hydraulic valve lifters --
another feature  not present in some of the 530i's principal
competitors -- eliminate periodic  valve adjustments. 

A thermoplastic intake manifold contributes to the V-8's low
weight and high performance. Weighing 63 percent less than  a
comparable aluminum manifold, it also has smoother interior
passages that reduce airflow friction.  The polyamid plastic
is fully recyclable, as is the metal melted out of  it after
casting; indeed, this metal is recycled repeatedly in
Managing the fuel-injection and ignition systems is a Digital
Motor Electronics (DME) Motronic 3.3 system with  simplified
microprocessor  circuitry.  The fuel injection uses a  hot
metal film in the incoming  airstream  to measure the air
mass  entering  the engine at any instant.  This film,
carried on  a ceramic  substrate, is highly resistant  to
electromagnetic  radiation and  vibration and thus has
advantages in consistency of operation as well as durability.
Fuel delivery is fully sequential  (that is, precisely timed
for each cylinder, rather than  in pairs or groups), and the
fuel  quantity as well  is controlled individually for each
cylinder. This improves fuel efficiency and emission control. 

As with  BMW's other new-generation  engines, direct ignition
-- a coil for each cylinder -- reduces the number of moving
parts, reduces radio and telephone interference, and allows
more precise control of  ignition timing  at the individual
cylinders.  Barring malfunction, ignition adjustment is never

Knock  control is another feature that boosts the V-8's
performance and efficiency. Employing four knock  sensors
(two per cylinder bank), this system senses any incipient
knocking in the cylinders and signals the DME system to
retard the ignition until it ceases.  Thus the ignition
timing does not have to have the usual "margin of safety" to
allow  for inferior  fuel; the engine operates at peak
efficiency at all times except when poor fuel is encountered.

Further innovations are  found in the exhaust system.  Beyond
the corrosion resistance provided by BMW's usual use of
stainless steel, the V-8 introduces chrome-nickel-silicon
steel in components subject to the greatest corrosion risk.
And new  double-wall tubing from the engine to the catalytic
converter improves heat insulation  in this critical area,
allowing  the two oxygen sensors to reach optimum operating
temperature  sooner after a cold start and thus improving
emission control. Heat under the hood is also reduced, making
it easier on wiring, electrical components and so forth. 

When the  530i's hood is opened, one sees little of  this
advanced technology.  Instead, there's an  uncommonly clean,
attractive appearance  that continues BMW's tradition of
handsome engines and compartments.  This is achieved partly
by the direct ignition's reduction of wiring, partly by fine
molded covers. 

The 530i  V-8 is a classic  BMW engine in that it delivers
strong performance right across its speed range, yet truly
sings at higher engine speeds.  Its maximum output of  215
horsepower comes at 5800 rpm, and lends the 530i  essentially
the same acceleration  performance as the previous 535i. 
Testing  this engine in the heavier  730i (a model not
available in the U.S.), Germany's Auto Motor und Sport
reported that "it hurries easily into the highest rev ranges"
and, with manual transmission, "combines driving pleasure and
refinement in  a unique way." What's unusual here is that the
530i -- unlike other V-8 sports-luxury models -- is actually
available  with  a manual transmission. It's BMW's
extra-efficient 5-speed unit with direct 5th gear, whose well
chosen ratios and ease of shifting were also praised by the
German  magazine's writer. 

For those who prefer not to shift for themselves -- but still
delight in responsive and efficient performance -- BMW offers
an enticing alternative: an outstanding new 5-speed automatic
transmission for the new  V-8 engines. One of  this
transmission's features is a 1st gear that's notably "lower"
(numerically higher) than usual, to improve off-the-line  and
low-speed response.  Second gear is close to what the usual
1st gear would be, keeping up the lively response.  As in the
4-speed automatic of other  BMW models, the top gear (5th
here) is an overdrive for quiet, fuel-efficient cruising. 


BMW was a pioneer in electronically controlled transmissions;
beginning with September 1993 production, the  5-Series
5-speed automatic evolves this concept in  a fascinating way
with its new  Adaptive Transmission Control (ATC). Instead of
the driver selecting  one or  the other shift mode via a
console  switch, ATC employs a new  electronic  logic that
recognizes the driver's present driving style, certain
environmental conditions (such as hills or reduced traction)
and driving conditions (such as vigorous cornering or
stop-and-go traffic), and selects the optimum shift mode and
gear(s) for that set of circumstances.  For details, see the
separate release on Adaptive Transmission  Control. 

As in other  BMW automatics, shifts are  smoothed by
automatic engine ignition  retard during shifts; this
engine-transmission interaction  is smoother thanks to a new
Controller Area Network (CAN) high-speed data bus that
utilizes multiplex technology  to transfer up to 1 million
bits of data per second.  In 4th and 5th gears, a
smoother-acting torque-converter  lockup clutch helps improve
fuel efficiency.  And yet keen drivers will note that BMW
hasn't carried all this smoothness too far: The transmission
shifts with decision and authority that enhance BMW's typical
driver-vehicle interaction. 


Distinguishable from the outside by new, wider BMW "kidney"
grille centers and its trunklid identification badge, the
530i has the same sporty, wide cross-spoke alloy wheels as
its predecessor. Braking is provided by large-diameter
4-wheel discs, naturally with ABS.  Interior luxury is
enhanced by standard gathered  leather upholstery, high-gloss
walnut trim and  a  system that can be programmed to
ventilate the interior while the  car  is standing.  The
unique  double-lock  feature of BMW's central locking  system
adds security.  The front shoulder belts' height adjusts
automatically with the power seats; as in all other 1994
BMWs, automatic front  seatbelt tensioners are standard. As
of September '93, dual airbags are also standard.  Ellipsoid
low-beam headlamps provide a more concentrated, powerful
lighting  pattern. 

A useful new  option  for dealing with ice, snow and rain is
BMW's All Season Traction, which can improve both driving
stability and traction under slippery road conditions.  (See
separate release.)  Also available optionally is  BMW's
Onboard Computer, which provides useful travel and
fuel-economy  information. 

530i TOURING: 
Having made  its 1992 debut as a 525i model with the
2.5-liter DOHC 6-cylinder engine, BMW's sports wagon  now
appears as a second model, the  530i Touring  with  the same
new 3.0- liter V-8 as the  530i Sedan. Sharing  the Sedan's
basic  chassis and exterior  dimensions except height,  the
Touring was conceived not as a conventional station wagon,
but as a thoroughbred BMW sports sedan with additional
practicality. Like  the Sedan, it  seats five  persons
comfortably  without  being bulky on the outside.  And  like
the Sedan, it  delights the  eye  with a graceful, elegant
silhouette. Several special features contribute  to the
Touring's  special  versatility -- something AutoWeek  called
"a package that  you  could get very used to. " One is its
multi-function tailgate, which allows loading smaller objects
by merely opening its relatively light, counterbalanced rear
window.  Another is its unique twin-panel power sunroof,
which  opens four different ways for the enjoyment of  front-
and  rear-seat  occupants alike.  Yet another is a
multi-function  roof-rack system, for which  tracks  are
recessed  into the roof. 

Along  with  the V-8 engine -- which  in  combination with
the  5-speed automatic transmission  delivers  a very
significant  performance  boost -- comes  All Season Traction
as standard  in the  530i Touring. "Maybe  it was because the
car seemed so safe and comfortable when thunderstorms
drenched  the landscape," AutoWeek explained its enjoyment of
the 525i Touring. With  the 530i  Touring's higher
performance  and  standard  All Season Traction, they surely
would have enjoyed it  even  more. 

THE NEW 540i	 
For  a  year or  so, the  740i  and 740iL have been
convincing  critics and owners with  the performance  and
smoothness of  BMW's  4.0-liter V-8 engine and 5-speed
automatic transmission. Now  comes the 540i, which  puts the
same  powertrain  into the  sportier, somewhat  lighter and
more compact  5-Series  sedans. 

Without adding  any  appreciable  extra weight, the  extra
liter  of engine  displacement (over the 530i's 3.0-liter
V-8)  increases  power output  67  hp to 282 hp, and  raises
torque  from 214 to 295 lb-ft.  It pretty  well  goes without
saying, then,  that  the 540i offers truly brilliant
performance: Factory data  indicate  just  6.7  seconds for
the  0-60-mph  sprint  with the standard 5- speed automatic.
(A manual t ransmission  isn't offered in the 540i.) 

With  this  combination, notes  the not-easily-impressed
Auto Motor und Sport,  BMW  has "transplanted  the  peak  of
the art  of  building automobiles  into its  middle  Series"
and created "quite  simply, one of the  best cars  in  the

There's more to the 540i, though, than just the larger
engine. Ventilated rear disc brakes replace  the  530i's
solid ones.  Along with  the  wider grille  centers, the
4-liter  model  is set off visually  by new
honeycomb-pattern  alloy  wheels (as on the 740i) on the
outside,  and a touch of extra  leather (the door
pulls/armrests) inside.  In place  of the 530i's manual
telescopic  steering- wheel adjustment  is a power
adjustment, combined with  a memory  system  that captures
three positions  of the  steering  wheel, driver's  seat  and
shoulder-belt  height, and outside  mirrors.  The Onboard
Computer  is standard, as is a  new  Remote  Entry Security
System  with  its control buttons integrated  into  the  head
of  the  master key. 

Two 5-Series models, the  525i Sedan  and Touring, are
powered  by BMW's  2.5-liter dual- overhead-camshaft,
24-valve engine.  Last  year, this classically smooth  BMW
inline  6-cylinder unit was extensively upgraded with
variable valve timing, knock control and reduced internal
friction; improved performance  and  fuel efficiency
resulted, particularly with  the automatic  transmission that
is optional in the Sedan  and standard  in  the Touring. 

For 1994, BMW once again improves performance with the
automatic transmission by altering the 525i automatic's
internal gearing:  1st and 2nd gears are now 19% and 10%
"lower" (numerically higher)  for stronger acceleration  at
low  to medium speeds.  Indeed, factory data indicate that
the 525i Sedan now  reaches 60 mph in  9.1 seconds (vs. 9.7
before) -- a significant improvement  in  anybody's book.
This smooth electronically  controlled  4-speed  automatic
continues with  manual selection  of  its three  shift  modes
via its selector  lever  and a console switch.  And for
driving  enthusiasts who prefer to do their own shifting, the
precision of the 525i Sedan's standard 5-speed manual
"gearbox" makes that a particularly pleasurable  activity. 

As the "entry" model in the 5-Series, the 525i  Sedan  is a
beautifully equipped car, sharing virtually all the luxury
features of  the 530i Sedan. In  several  respects, it has
been brought into line with  the 530i Sedan  for  1994:
Ellipsoid  low-beam headlights, the uprated
10-channel/250-watt (peak power)  audio  system and
availability of All Season Traction  are three  such
improvements. As the 6-cylinder sports wagon, the  525i
Touring also enters 1994 with several upgrades: the
wide-ratio automatic  transmission, ellipsoid  lights,
250-watt audio system and  optional All Season Traction are
joined here by newly standard leather interior trim.  BMW's
unique twin-panel power sunroof is optional for  the 5
25i Touring. 

All 1994 BMWs  are  covered by  the BMW Limited Warranty,
which provides basic coverage  for 4 years/50,000 miles  and
corrosion  coverage  for 6 years.  BMW  Roadside Assistance
is also provided  for  the first 4 years/50,000 miles of
ownership, and can be extended for a small annual charge
with  BMW's  Service  Card. New  for  all 1994 5-Series
models is optional  availability of the BMW Maintenance
Program, which  covers most   regular maintenance  for the
first 4  years/50,000  miles. With the  new  V-8  models, the
extensive range of functional refinements and the new options
-- not to mention pricing that  keeps it thoroughly
competitive  with its rivals in the marketplace, the  BMW
5-Series  is sure  to win  even  more  happy  customers  for